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85/2552 Hearing aid, ear trumpet, copper / brass / plastic, made by Mayer, England, c. 1860. Click to enlarge.

Copper and brass ear trumpet

This copper ear trumpet is an early type of hearing aid. Cupping a hand around the ear improved hearing by five percent. So in the 19th century a whole series of trumpets, horns, under-beard listeners and top hats with discreet ear pieces were devised for the hearing impaired. It was not until 1901 that the first electronic hearing aid was patented in the USA but this was heavy and unwieldy.

This type of ear trumpet is known as a bell resonator style, London Dome or Grand Opera Dome type …


Object No.


Object Statement

Hearing aid, ear trumpet, copper / brass / plastic, made by Mayer, England, c. 1860

Physical Description

Polished copper dome-shaped hearing aid with flat edge, featuring a cross-section with simple decoration on the grill over the sound opening. A small, curved brass tube with an ivory-coloured ear tip is attached to the hearing aid.


Inscribed on side, 'MAYER. LONDON. W.'.



80 mm


110 mm


48 mm



The hearing aid was made by Mayer, England, c. 1860.


Credit Line

Purchased 1985

Acquisition Date

26 December 1985

Cite this Object


Copper and brass ear trumpet 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 9 February 2023, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Copper and brass ear trumpet |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=9 February 2023 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}